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on the right last time just before the election when you saw a lot of people who just didn't believe the number, didn't want to believe it, but i think the growth in this number, the consumer confidence we've seen, some of the good trending economic data is part of the reason why barack obama won this election. consumers, job seekers are basically feeling a little bit better. the trend is good. i think that was the margin of difference here in large part for the president. >> i want to bring in our panel here and ben, you're an expert in all things related to the economy. ayman thinks these numbers have strengthened the president's hand here. i guess continuing in the vain of what's up is down and down is up, in some ways doesn't it sort of hurt the broader argument, though, from the left regarding unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut? these are parts of the fiscal cliff negotiations we have not paid a lot of attention to, and also the white house's argument about further stimulus spending, undermined by this notion out there based on these numbers that the economy is recovering? >> ye
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